25 | Sa-Tan-Ic Tonic “A Devil of a Cure”

“The Sa-Tan-Ic Medicine and Manufacturing Company was based out of Wichita, Kansas, and was established in the spring of 1915 by two druggists, W.W. Daniels and B.A. McGaugh. The two men already owned a thriving business, the Gehring Pharmacy, at 104 W. Douglas Ave., but Daniels and McGaugh noticed that there was a need for a product that could clean the bowels gently, unlike the harsh and potentially deadly laxatives of the era.”

Leading the medical side of the range was the Sa-Tan-Ic Tonic Laxative, also known simply as ‘Sa-Tan-Ic’, which took as its starting point the notion that ‘constipation is the cause of ninety percent of all diseases in man, women and children.’ Keeping the bowels regular would sort out most other health problems, both physical and mental. Advertisements promised that Sa-Tan-Ic would bring mental sunshine, prevent a lazy liver from going on strike, and act like an ‘energy gland’ transplanted into the body to restore the vigour of youth.”

Trademark of the Sa-Tan-ic Medicine Company, 1915

“One must always be grateful for small mercies. When a giant jazz-hands Satan is trampling amok on your planet of residence, you can at least gain comfort from the fact he has kept his underpants on.” –http://thequackdoctor.com/index.php/a-devil-of-a-cure/

Sa-tan-ic advertised in The Beaver Herald (OK) Dec 31 1914.

Sa-tan-ic tonic laxative photo by Jonathan Brown
Sa-tan-ic - Hutchinson News 04031920
Satanic liniment c 1920 via Vintagecocobythelake

“As the FDA began cracking down on the manufacturers of patent medicines in the 1920s, business began to decline, but not before Daniels and McGaugh had become multi-millionaires.”

“Hearings for misbranding under the Food and Drugs Act did not set out to ban products, comment on their overall effectiveness or decree that they were A Bad Thing. It was all about whether the claims on the packaging properly represented whatever was inside. So, while the herbal and salicylate ingredients would provide a laxative and pain-relieving effect, the claims that they could cure appendicitis and asthma – along with most other things – were a bit over the top. After paying $800 in costs and bonds, the company was free to continue selling the product, provided they were more circumspect in their marketing statements.”



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